Tao of Disc Dog | It’s OK to Make a Mistake

Compliments of: Disc Dog Radio

Mistakes Are. They exist, they will happen, and you and your dog will make them. Yes, even dogs make mistakes. All dogs know this.

Mistakes can be many things and nothing at all. Lessons to be learned. Lessons to be taught. Lessons learned years ago. And no lesson at all. The wise handler knows this.

Mistakes in performance are not acceptable, but what are you gonna do? Best thing to do is to accept it and move on. Like water off the back, let that stuff fall behind you.

Mistakes in practice are not just acceptable, they are important. Mistakes in practice show your gaps and your weaknesses and can deliver epiphanies about the Tao of DiscDog that success could never bring to light.


Your response to mistakes is not just about you. It affects the team and affects your dog. A poor mistake response can ruin the whole day’s training, and consistent ugly mistake responses can shut down a dog.

If a mistake happens on a trick or a disc skill, accept it, break the flow of the session for a moment and give it another shot. If a mistake happens on a mechanical skill, like an early drop, just wait a sec and see if your dog will remedy the situation. If you’ve done a good job in your training, the lack of action will jog the dog’s memory and he’ll fix it without your help. Accept it and move on.

Accepting mistakes without response or emotion in the moment is important, but mistakes have to be addressed. Take the time between sessions to put on your coaches hat and figure out a plan to remedy the mistake in the next session.

If a mistake really gets to you, dismiss the dog and take a few moments to regroup.

Dog Training in Western Michigan
Excerpt from the Tao of Disc Dog
By Ron Watson

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